By Alfred Branch, Jr. A new website is selling exclusive Internet “tags” that could help drive traffic to a ticketing site. Tags, also called...

By Alfred Branch, Jr.

A new website is selling exclusive Internet “tags” that could help drive traffic to a ticketing site. Tags, also called keywords or hotlinks, are words that can be associated with specific websites to help search engines find a particular website.

The website, 200Tickets.com, is focused on the ticket broker and ticket agent industry, and it sells tags beginning at $20 not including extras such as bold text or underlining that costs more.

“When search engines go out and comb the web for information, one of the criteria used is tags,” said 200Tickets.com founder Harry Erickson. “These tags add to the site’s creditability with search engines and will help the site establish a higher rank.”

It works like this, a broker buys a tag from 200Tickets.com, say “Toby Keith Tickets,” and when someone searches on Del.icio.us, Flickr or Myspace using those words, they are either whisked to the broker’s site or a page with the broker’s link with other similar links. Google and Yahoo use a form of tagging, too, by indexing pages with similar content.

As a site grows in popularity and other sites point to it using those tags, the site will move up the rank of searched items. “If a site’s not listed within the first few pages of a search, it probably won’t be found,” Erickson said.

Tags are placed on 200Tickets.com in a “Tag Cloud,” a grouping of tags, and if some clicks on it, they will be taken to the site that bought that tag. A person would have to visit 200Tickets.com to do that. More likely is a scenario where someone searches for that subject using those tags, and a search engine will go out and find websites associated with those tags.

Each purchased tag expires after two years, and if 200Tickets.com does not list a tag a buyer would like to use, that buyer can suggest an alternative. Erickson is quick to add that the most utilized criteria to index websites is content, so brokers should build their sites to optimize searches.

“It’s an inbound lane into your website,” Erickson said of 200Tickets.com. “The ticket brokering business is very competitive, so companies have to utilize everything at their disposal to gain an advantage.”